Digital Marketing Strategy,

Why Nostalgia Is the Next Big Idea for SaaS Businesses

Magdalena Andreeva

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The coronavirus pandemic is bringing big changes at breakneck speed. This dynamic situation has made it crucial for SaaS marketers to acknowledge the shift in consumers’ priorities and mindfully plan their next marketing moves.

Unsurprisingly, marketing efforts are becoming heavily centered on the “next great thing.” While campaigns focused on the future can go a long way, tapping into your customers’ memories and emotions can turn out to be a viable strategy in 2021.

Whether it’s millennials longing to bring back 90s fashion, or a parent reminiscing about the pre-homeschooling days, nostalgic marketing can strike a chord with all customer groups.

What is Nostalgia?

In a nutshell, nostalgia refers to the sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past. This could be a place or period with positive personal associations. Nostalgia is often tied to encouraging feelings of belonging, as well as helping people counteract loneliness and boredom.

In times of crisis, turning to nostalgia is a typical psychological response. During the coronavirus, many are reconnecting with the past as a way to cope with the anxieties of the pandemic and remember what they care for most. In fact, a recent study shows that more than half of consumers find solace during COVID in familiar, nostalgic content – both visual and auditory.

The global pandemic has changed nostalgia, too. Instead of longing for a different time period, people are now longing for a different way of living, working, and enjoying each other’s company. As people of all generations are craving for the past, 2021 might just be the best opportunity to leverage nostalgic content in your SaaS digital marketing strategy.

Why Nostalgic Marketing Is So Powerful

It is a well-known fact that people buy products and services because of the way that purchase makes them feel. Ultimately, using nostalgia in marketing works because it resonates with ideals we cherish and positive memories from the past. Nostalgia marketing lets your target audience relive some of their fondest moments, ignoring the hustle and bustle of the present.

Nostalgia helps humanize brands, presenting a unique opportunity to leverage the optimistic feeling of nostalgia and reach customers on an emotional level. Even more, because references to the past make customers feel something, they are also more likely to act.

Getting Started With Nostalgic Content

As always, marketing strategies work best when brands understand their audiences. The key to successfully using nostalgia in your marketing campaign is identifying key moments in your audience’s timeline and figuring out how to use them to enhance your brand identity.

As you’re building your plan, make sure you’re appeasing the right demographic. Remember that each age group will have its ideals, characteristics, and views, and each is most likely to be nostalgic for their childhood and adolescent years.

Nostalgic content commonly uses products or themes from the past to highlight a company change, commemorate a milestone, or revive a discontinued product. Focusing on audience segmentation, data analysis, and creative work, however, is what can truly set you apart. After all, creativity in marketing will continue to be the X factor in delivering meaningful engagement even in the post-pandemic digital landscape.

Whether it’s a music video or an infographic showing your brand’s changes over the years, incorporating nostalgia into your content marketing strategy can be a great way to inspire loyalty and cultivate trust.

Taking Your Nostalgia Strategy to Social Media

Marketing strategies – nostalgia-inspired or not – should concentrate on using valuable content to create strong online connections.

If anything, the pandemic has taught us that online conversations can be just as meaningful as in-person interactions, and marketing teams should take note. The truth is, as a growing number of people are going digital, this is the prime time to take your brand offerings online.

Essentially, if people have a positive experience, they will want to share it with their loved ones. Pairing your nostalgia marketing ideas with the power of social media can nurture ongoing online conversations and increase your campaign’s impact.

Brands With Killer Nostalgia Marketing Campaigns

Long-lasting, engaged relationships with customers are at the heart of any successful business. To a degree, customers will keep coming back to brands they feel emotionally attached to.

So, how do you tie in nostalgia into your digital marketing strategy? One of the best ways to answer this is to look at brands that have managed to incorporate nostalgic content into their marketing efforts.


Nike is one of the best examples of nostalgic content around. Each year, the brand releases new versions of some of its most successful sneaker designs from the past decades. Their Air Jordan line has quickly become one of their biggest hits and a popular collector’s item for sneaker fans. The new designs aim to bring a fresh take to Nike’s classic pairs from the 80s or 90s.



For their 2019 Super Bowl ad, Doritos teamed up Chance the Rapper with the Backstreet Boys to promote their Flaming Hot Nacho flavor. By pairing a currently popular rapper with a timeless boy band from the 90s, Doritos managed to appeal to multiple generations and cause a buzz of online conversation.

While the immediate goal here might not be to increase sales, this type of nostalgic content can be extremely effective for creating a memorable experience for the viewer, promoting brand recall, and paving the way towards brand loyalty.


Nintendo is another great example of leveraging nostalgic marketing to strengthen emotional connections within your audience. The release of Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition tapped right into the emotions of millennials – the generation that grew up playing games on consoles made by Nintendo, Sega, and Sony.

NES comes with 30 classic games and is intended to encourage customers to re-experience “the system that started it all” and take a break from the ever-changing present.


Creating a Winning Marketing Strategy

Nostalgia is an inherently emotional experience. With all the uncertainty of today’s world, it’s no surprise that people want to retreat into something familiar, whether it’s a year or 20 years ago.

For SaaS marketing teams, nostalgic content can have a powerful emotional hold on their target customers. When used correctly, nostalgia can be a smart tactic to help you boost brand awareness, increase sales, and resonate with a wider audience.

Ready to learn more about creating inspiring digital marketing campaigns? Check out our blog and discover how to leverage creativity as a sustainable competitive advantage.

Paris Childress
Paris Childress

CEO & Founder

My job is to match talented, motivated marketers with high growth companies, arm teams for success, then to get out of the way.

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